As President Donald Trump’s first two years in office come to a close, we’ve seen two originalist justices confirmed to the Supreme Court, 26 originalist appeals court judges confirmed, 10 more nominated, and 41 new district court judges on the bench and dozens more pending.
Add to that: the repeal of the sequester on defense spending and a massive military rebuild underway; a massive tax cut of unprecedented depth and structural change; a renegotiated trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada; withdrawals from the awful Iran deal and, in effect, the absurdist Paris accord; the rollback of job-killing and bureaucrat empower regulations by the hundreds; an economy surging while unemployment drops to 3.7 percent; and a new entente in the Middle East (one that arose despite U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel) that sees the United States and Israel aligned and cooperating closely with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and now a new government in Iraq against the expansionist Iranian theocrats.
Did I mention the devastation and defeat of ISIS in its physical "caliphate?
That's not even the entire list of accomplishments, but it's enough to have silenced the #NeverTrumpers who used to mock Trump-supporting conservatives by posting a street sign carrying the name "Gorsuch" above rising floodwaters. Those of us who follow the president's often confusing, loud, extemporaneous and disruptive presidency not by his tweets but by his administration's deeds and those of congressional Republicans are amused that the #NeverTrump rump has stopped the "but Gorsuch" nonsense.
Many of the successes, especially with regard to the judiciary, are because of the unparalleled skill of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., supported by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and the Senate GOP caucus, which has almost always held together as a whole. McConnell is, as I've said before, the single most effective congressional leader the GOP has had in my lifetime. And it looks as if his majority will grow in November. The Republican House Majority may be preserved as well.
Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and their caucus crafted and passed the tax bill as well as 14 Congressional Review Act resolutions and the robust military spending bills. Republican candidates should point both to the achievements outlined above and the rapidly expanding economy in their closing campaigns.
They should also dwell on the prospect of the enraged left controlling anything in government. Democrat Jerrold Nadler of New York, who would take the gavel of the House Judiciary Committee, has already promised a pursuit of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to satisfy his party's fringe. Democrat Maxine Waters of California, who would gain the gavel of the House Financial Services Committee, has urged the physical pursuit of her Republican colleagues across and out of public places. The radical rump of the Democrats, led again by Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, would set out to destroy the Trump economic momentum and to paralyze the regulatory rollback with a hundred hearings and inquisitions.
Trump is as wearying today as Andrew Jackson must have been in 1829 to the people of both parties who are used to different rules sets. I am one of them. Thus my criticisms of the president are many and detailed. But my fear of the wild-eyed left is far greater than my discomfort with his bull-in-china shop politics.
The left, we saw this week and last, contrasts unfavorably with the president's hyperbole and occasional cruelty. It is now a snarling, enraged collective scream. To give it power would be to risk fraying even further the common bonds of citizenship. Best for them to spend a long time in the wilderness, as the "San Francisco Democrats" of 1984, so very wrong about the Soviet Union, needed to endure.
After the attempted sliming of Kavanaugh, voters must not reward that outburst of the new McCarthyism in the least or it will be repeated. Review the first few paragraphs above. Vote to repeat those sorts of achievements instead of empowering the enraged mobs. Don't just return the Republicans. Increase their majorities and increase prosperity and security, judicial restraint and free enterprise even as we collectively figure out a president who may be outside our national norms for the office, but who is succeeding for us all.
Hugh Hewitt hosts a nationally syndicated radio show and is a professor of law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law.